Arts

Dance

Dance Program

Dance Guard is our visual performance unit that is part of the Irish Knight Band. The Dance Guard performs at football games during halftime shows, at band reviews and parades as the marching band’s auxiliary unit, and as a dance unit at concert band performances. They also compete at indoor dance competitions in the Spring semester. Enrolled in the Dance Prop Production class, students are trained in classical dance technique (ballet) as a foundation for the other dance genres, flag, rifle, sabre, and other equipment technique, and choreography.

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Courses Offered

List of 5 items.

  • Dance I

    Primary skills of Ballet are taught to lay a foundation that will solidify knowledge of dance to ensure opportunities of progression in various styles and levels of dance and/or other art mediums beyond their years at Notre Dame. Skills will be learned through barre and centre technique to develop full body awareness and proper muscular development. During the progression of the course, physicality will be increased through primary traveling across the floor and visual learning will be exercised through short phrase combinations. Universal ballet terms, proper stretch, injury prevention& care, and performance education are covered throughout this course. Students will learn the history of dance through the development of modern from ballet, world dance, various genres and techniques within. During the latter part of the course after a technical term foundation is set some basic styles of dance including jazz, hip-hop, country line and street dance will be explored through combinations. Students will learn how to write a research and critique paper on an artistic work through the lens of the history of dance. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - This elective course is open to all students. (UC “f” VPA) 
  • Dance 2: Creative

    In this second level of Dance, students will learn a greater level of coordination, flexibility, and centre strength through longer phrased technical training of ballet skills. Skills will be physically demonstrated with higher velocity movements at an intermediate level developing a broader knowledge of terms and execution. Developing basic skills of musicality that coincides with quality of movement for a higher level of performance. Overview of basics of partnering coursework encompasses partnering concepts, classical & contemporary partnering, ballroom dance, and contact improvisation. Range and variety of skills will be enhanced through studies of dynamics of weight, time, space and flow. Introduction to modern styles and study of various techniques developed by such 20th-century masters as Graham, Limon, Taylor, Horton and Cunningham to assist in this constantly developing art form. Training of Pilates and yoga will be explored to enhance technical support. Depending on course enrollment, students may be combined with the Dance 2 Song Performance or Dance 3 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Completion of Dance I or instructor’s approval. (UC “f” VPA) 
  • Dance 2 & Song Performance

    Dance 2-Song Performance is an advanced level course for students with several years of prior dance experience in Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary dance styles. This course is for students who have a strong passion for performing, both as an individual and as part of a dance team. Students will creatively express their artistry and tell stories through dance. Proper technique and the dancer’s personal development is emphasized as the student refines their craft to ensure their movement has purpose and story. Using ballet as the foundation, the course is comprised of technique, performance, artistry, and choreography as students develop skills in various genre of dance including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, and cultural dance pieces. Topics are threaded and revisited throughout the course as students develop advanced dance skills and master more difficult pieces. Students use the skills developed to prepare and rehearse routines for public performance at school events (eg. rallies, dance concerts, assemblies, athletic events, Open House). Instruction includes strengthening and flexibility classes to develop range of motion and conditioning of the body. Students will develop character, leadership, and individual responsibility in each member while maintaining high moral standards. This course is intended to prepare students to perform and compete as a dancer at a high level. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Audition process and instructor’s approval. (UC “f” VPA) 
  • Dance III: Advanced

    Curriculum is designed to promote full awareness of technical skill during performance geared towards college or company audition preparation. More in-depth techniques and a broader range of dynamics of advanced modern and contemporary ballet are taught. Utilization of advanced floorwork, weight sharing in partners & groups, longer phrases, and challenging choreography are covered. Students will study musicality through dynamic range, form responsibility within staging, quality of movement and choreography development at a high level. Coursework will cover a deeper understanding of the values and diversity of the dance community and tools necessary for building a fulfilling career not only as an artist but an advocate for the arts thru small group discussions and large group activities. The latter part of the course will include in-depth studies of site-specific works, video for dance, dance prop production and the professional dance industry. Students will put a dance portfolio together, audition preparation and fulfilling college application requirements, create original works with greater complexity and depth, re-create previous works, problem-solving during collaboration and develop a piece with full production value. Depending on course enrollment, students may be combined with the Dance 2 Song Performance or Dance 3 students. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Completion of Dance II or instructor’s approval. (UC “f” VPA Approval Pending) 
  • Dance Prop Production

    (Dance Flags/Winter Guard) The course involves student participation in various aspects of movement and equipment techniques. The student will obtain aesthetic perception and valuing, creative expression, and will study the heritage and history of dance. These goals will be accomplished by various activities and performance throughout the course. Expression of movement style, equipment techniques and forms will take place through creative development of space, time, and dexterity. Students will learn technical proficiency through ballet barre technique as well as styles of modern, jazz and hip-hop. The students will also focus on the ability to work in a group situation while developing performance and composition skills. Students will work with a dance/flag/prop teacher during class hours and at required evening rehearsals. Students will perform dance, prop, and routines with the marching and concert bands. They will also participate in additional competitions as an independent unit. This course may be repeated for credit. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - This is a performance course open to grades 9 through 12. New members must pass an audition in the spring. (UC “f” VPA) 

Dance Guard Instructor: Leticia Alcuran

Leticia Alcuran was born and raised in Los Angeles County where she began dancing at the early age of five. She has danced professionally for Disney and in the circus show RIPTIDE, at Sea World (San Antonio, TX). She was also the female lead performer of the Tony and Emmy Award-Winning Broadway Show BLAST! – in the Anaheim Cast and on the North America and Japan Tours. Leticia’s technical training in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Polynesian, and Color Guard makes her unique choreographic style stand on its own. She has choreographed and taught all over Southern California, including summer workshops for W.G.A.S.C. and Riverside Community College. She performed with Santa Clara Vanguard, Blue Devils, and Fantasia Winter Guard. Leticia completed a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from the California Institute of the Arts. She was awarded a full scholarship from the Limon Dance Company New York Summer Intensive where she studied under Risa Steinberg, Artistic Director at Julliard. Leticia is the Color Guard Instructor for Notre Dame High School and has her judges’ certification for W.G.A.S.C.
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